Note: you can follow the "color coded themes" throughout the season schedule.
Instrument Spotlight: The Clarinet: Hear several of the world’s great clarinetists show how versatile their instrument really is: from the lyrical elegance of Mozart, to the folk rhythms of Bartók, to the wild flourishes of Klezmer, hear an astonishing emotional range from this small piece of wood.
Folk Roots: For all of its elevated aspirations, this summer’s music stays grounded in the melodies and rhythms of folk culture. Hear the sounds of American bluegrass, Jewish Klezmer, Inuit throat singing, and melodies from Israel, Ireland, Italy…and that’s just the “I’s.”
Composer Spotlight: Judd Greenstein: Up-and-coming composer Judd Greenstein has helped to break down the walls between classical and pop without losing depth or a sense of fun. Hear several of his works throughout the festival – let them engage your mind, heart, and foot (tapping).
Dynamic Duos: More than your average ‘solo and accompaniment,’ these dramatic and virtuosic duos explore the ups and downs between two absolutely equal individuals--from argument, to agreement, to agree-to-disagree.
▼ Music Workshops
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 11:00 AM.
Open workshops for music students of all ages and levels will be conducted by Artistic Directors Julia Bruskin and Aaron Wunsch.
All instruments are welcome. Please complete and return the registration form below.
First Presbyterian Church Advanced registration required. $10 per entry, registration form required.
Email SkanFest at email@example.com with any questions.
▼ Met Orchestra Interview with Julia Bruskin
Introducing: Julia Bruskin, Cellist
interview by Katherine Anderson, violist
Julia Bruskin, cellist, is the newest member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She lives in NYC with her husband, pianist Aaron Wunsch, and their 9-month-old son Gabriel. I had the privilege of speaking with Julia during intermissions of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Katherine Anderson: What was the first thing you did after you found out you'd won the Met audition?
Julia Bruskin: I was so amazed as I was completely not expecting it! I called my husband and then they took me down, in my dazed state, to meet my future stand partner and the rest of the audition committee.
KA: What was that like?
JB: Everyone was so friendly. It was really a wonderful way to be introduced to the group.
KA: Did you celebrate after that?
JB: Yes! I went right home so I could be there for bedtime with my son, Gabriel. When he was asleep we cooked dinner and opened the nicest bottle of wine we had. The audition was the day before Thanksgiving, so I was able to celebrate with my whole family. It was an incredible Thanksgiving!
KA: What were you doing before playing in the Met Orchestra?
JB: I perform with the Claremont Trio. My twin sister Emily is the violinist in the group and the pianist is Andrea Lam. We started the trio in 1999 and have been touring actively since 2001. I love playing trios; it's something that has always been a favorite of mine, and over the years we've grown to know each other pretty well like any ensemble.
KA: Are you going to continue playing with your trio?
JB: Yes, absolutely! One of the great things about the job at the Met for me is that there is some flexibility to plan my opera schedule around our trio concerts. I am very glad to be able to continue performing with my trio while doing this new job.
KA: Your parents must've been excited when they heard you were taking the audition.
JB: Well, actually - I didn't tell them I was auditioning! It would've been more pressure, and they would've been wondering what was happening. My parents are huge opera fans and they go to Ring cycles around the world.
KA: What is your favorite restaurant?
JB: Mas (farmhouse) in the Village. We've been looking for a day to go back since the baby was born.....sigh...
KA: What book are you currently reading?
JB: Mostly baby-related books, but the last novel I loved was by Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna.
KA: Have you seen any movies lately?
JB: We haven't been to the movies since Gabriel was born, but we'd love to go again soon!
KA: If you could just randomly walk out your door on a Sunday morning, where would you end up?
JB: I'd spend the day with my family. It would be a beautiful day and we'd go to the park with Gabriel, bring a picnic and the Sunday NY Times, and then meet up with friends.
KA: Finding that balance of being a new mom and starting a new job must be quite an undertaking! Any tips or thoughts on how you juggle everything?
JB: The number one thing is that I have an amazing husband! He helps out a lot and is wonderful with Gabriel. He's a pianist and teaches at Juilliard, so he's home a lot of evenings while I play operas. That's made the transition a lot easier. I guess I would say to someone in my shoes, "It's possible!" I wouldn't have thought it was possible until I was doing it. When I was preparing for the audition I was practicing during Gabriel's naps, while he was playing and mostly late at night after he went to bed. I've always been a late-night practicer and it was a way to clear my head and really focus on something. I've always liked having something to work towards.
KA: Where did you and your husband meet?
JB: At Juilliard, well...... actually we met here, I guess I should tell you that story.....
KA: Here, as in, at the Met?!
JB: Yes! We started our master's degrees at Juilliard the same year and were in a class together. Our teacher, Claudio Spies, knows James Levine, who invited him to bring his class to dress rehearsals. So the first time our class went to the Met was to the dress rehearsal of [Wagner's] Die Meistersinger. During the intermission everyone else went to have lunch in the cafeteria; we were the only two people who had brought our own lunches with us. So we sat in a box by ourselves upstairs and talked, and that was the first time we really got to know each other.
KA: What were your expectations of joining the Met orchestra? Did you have any idea what it would be like?
JB: I had friends who played in the orchestra, and I definitely had the impression that it was an amazing job but also a hard job - a lot of work, a lot of hours, but also some of the most incredible music in the world! I certainly imagined it would have challenging aspects, but I knew that people were generally really happy here. I thought of it as an orchestra that sounded great every time I heard it. It seemed like people were in the moment and playing beautifully.
KA: Does anything stand out that someone said or shared with you your first few weeks on the job?
JB: My stand partner looked over at me before my first performance and said, "This is the beginning of the rest of your life. " Up until that moment I was just going day to day. I really hadn't been thinking quite so long term!! Everyone was so friendly from the very beginning. So far my experience has been incredibly positive and everybody has been really welcoming.
KA: Julia, we are so lucky to have you join us. I'm glad that you've felt welcomed! Thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
▼ 2015 Season Schedule
Skaneateles Festival Wednesday, August 12: KidsFest - Aesop’s Fables: Music and Stories with Susan Reed First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org 11:00 AM Free Event
Nationally recognized singer-songwriter, violinist, banjo player, and storyteller Susan Reed delightfully blends folk music and stories in a participatory program of Aesop’s fables and her own original songs.
Skaneateles Festival Thursday, August 13: Opening Night First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under
featuring: Jennifer Koh, violin; Maria Lambros, viola; Michael Kannen, cello; Julia Bruskin, cello; Orion Weiss, piano; Aaron Wunsch, piano, Jeffrey Irving and Ian Sullivan, percussion
Skaneateles Festival Friday, August 14: First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
7:00 PM Backstage Pass: Making Music at the Met In the high-stakes world of grand opera, there is plenty of drama both on and off stage. Conductor Daniel Stewart, orchestra member Julia Bruskin, and star singer Lisette Oropesa share their stories. (open to ticket holders only)
8:00 PM: “Song and Dance” Bizet: Songs Adams: Road Movies Dvorák: Slavonic Dances Schubert: Octet
featuring: Jennifer Koh, violin; Julia Bruskin, cello; Orion Weiss, piano; Aaron Wunsch, piano; Lisette Oropesa, soprano; and Musicians from Met Opera
Skaneateles Festival Saturday, August 15: “A Night at the Met” Brook Farm, 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles 7:30 PM Concert Tickets: $22 & $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org (Rain location: after 3pm, call 315-685-7418 or visit www.skanfest.org)
Strauss: Die Fledermaus Overture Handel: Piangero la sorte mia from Giulio Cesare Mozart: Deh vieni from The Marriage of Figaro Donizetti: Chacun le sait from La Fille du Regiment Verdi: Sempre libera from La Traviata Mahler: Symphony No. 4 (arr. Klaus Simon)
featuring: Daniel Stewart, conductor; Lisette Oropesa, soprano; Met Opera musicians
Skaneateles Festival Thursday, August 20: First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
7:00 PM Prelude Concert: featuring the 2015 Robinson Award winner(free for ticket holders only)
J.S. Bach : Prelude from Suite in C Major Shostakovich: Prelude (arr. for 2 Cellos and Piano) Tchaikovsky: Pezzo Capriccioso, Op. 62
8:00 PM “Hungarian Revolution” J. S. Bach: Cantata excerpts for piano four-hands (arr. Kurtág) Enescu: Concert Piece Bartók: Contrasts Dohnanyi: Sextet
featuring: Anthony McGill, clarinet; Beth Guterman, viola; Stewart Rose, horn; Aaron Wunsch, piano; Claremont Trio
Skaneateles Festival Friday, August 21: “Coming Together” First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
Mozart: “Kegelstatt” Trio Rzewski: Coming Together Brahms: Trio in B Major
featuring: Anthony McGill, clarinet; Beth Guterman, viola; Claremont Trio; NOW Ensemble; Dashon Burton, Narrator
Skaneateles Festival Saturday, August 22: NOW Ensemble and Roomful of Teeth Brook Farm, 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles 7:30 PM Tickets: $22 & $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org (Rain location: after 3pm, call 315-685-7418 or visit www.skanfest.org)
Shaw: Partita (2013 Pulitzer Prize) Shaw: Ritornello (World Premiere) Greenstein: (World Premiere) Britelle: High Done No Why To Garbus: Quizassa Burke: How about NOW Greenstein: Change
featuring: Roomful of Teeth & NOW Ensemble
Skaneateles Festival Wednesday, August 26: Workshops for Music Students First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 11:00 AM
Artistic Directors Aaron Wunsch and Julia Bruskin will lead informal daytime workshops for music students of all ages & abilities. All instruments welcome. Advance registration is required. For more info: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
Skaneateles Festival Thursday, August 27: ECCO - Music for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
2: Bartók: Duos for 2 violins 3: Dvorák: Miniatures 4: Wolf: Italian Serenade 5: Gershwin: Lullaby 6: Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence
featuring: members of ECCO (the East Coast Chamber Orchestra)
Skaneateles Festival Friday, August 28: KidsFest “Krazy Klezmer” First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org Free Event 11:00 AM
Explore the fascinating sounds of klezmer, vibrant Jewish folk music, sure to make you get up and dance. International star, David Krakauer leads his band of clarinet, accordion, bass, and drums- a program for all ages!
Skaneateles Festival Friday, August 28: “Pathways in Folk Music” First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
Frank Martin: Trio on Irish Themes Smetana: Trio in G Minor New & Traditional Klezmer Music
featuring: David Krakauer’s Acoustic Klezmer Quartet (clarinet, accordion, bass, drums); Ayano Ninomiya, violin; Peter Rovit, violin; Julia Bruskin, cello; Ken Olsen, cello; Xak Bjerken, piano; Aaron Wunsch, piano
Skaneateles Festival Saturday, August 29: The Four Seasons Brook Farm, 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles 7:30 PM Tickets: $22 & $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org (Rain location: after 3pm, call 315-685-7418 or visit www.skanfest.org)
Vivaldi: Four Seasons - Summer & Fall Piazzolla: Four Seasons - Winter & Spring Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik Stravinsky: Concerto in D Greenstein: Four on the Floor
featuring: ECCO (the East Coast Chamber Orchestra)
Skaneateles Festival Thursday, September 3: “An Evening with the Miro Quartet” First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
Skaneateles Festival Friday, September 4: First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under
7:00PM Backstage Pass: Life in a String Quartet
8:00 PM Miro Quartet and Aeolus Quartet Dan Welcher: Museon Polemos for String Octet Mendelssohn: Octet
featuring: Miró Quartet and Aeolus Quartet
Skaneateles Festival Saturday, September 5: Festival Finale with Joshua Redman and Brooklyn Rider Brook Farm, 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles 7:30 PM Tickets: $22 & $28, free for children 12 and under (Rain location: after 3pm, call 315-685-7418 or visit www.skanfest.org)
The Skaneateles Festival is proud to present the U.S. premiere of a special collaboration between superstar jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and globetrotting string quartet Brooklyn Rider. Together with bassist Matt Penman and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi they perform Patrick Zimmerli’s Aspects of Darkness and Light, a dynamic mix of jazz, classical and world music.
▼ Announcing Our New Artistic Directors!
SKANEATELES FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE HIRING OF NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTORS AARON WUNSCH AND JULIA BRUSKIN WILL TAKE THE REINS OF THE FESTIVAL IN 2015
SKANEATELES, NY - The Skaneateles Festival is pleased to announce a new husband and wife team as music directors of the festival beginning in the fall: Aaron Wunsch and Julia Bruskin, of New York City.
Pianist and Juilliard faculty member Aaron Wunsch is artistic director of NYC's acclaimed chamber music series, Music Mondays, as well as of Juilliard's PianoScope series. Praised for his "masterful" chamber performances (Hartford Courant), he has also worked closely with composers Kaija Saariaho, Thomas Adès, and Nico Muhly. A native of Wisconsin, he studied at Yale, as a Fulbright Scholar at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and has a Doctorate from Juilliard. www.aaronwunsch.com
Cellist Julia Bruskin is a founding member of the Claremont Trio, "one of America's finest young chamber groups" (Strad Magazine), whose concerts this year include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, and a four-concert series at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In addition, she is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she is a graduate of Columbia University (B.A. in History) and Juilliard (M. Music) double degree program.
Wunsch and Bruskin frequently perform together, including tours to China and performances this year in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Texas. They live in New York City with their one-year old son, Gabriel. Bruskin remarks, "I fell in love with Skaneateles right away--the gorgeous, clear lake, charming town, relaxed atmosphere, and most of all, the warm, generous people. The two most important things in my life are music and family. I know our son Gabriel is going to love Skaneateles and can't think of a better place for him to spend his summers, surrounded by music and friends."
The search for new artistic directors was extensive and competitive. Applicants from Spain, Italy, and across the United States were among more than 70 under consideration. "Aaron and Julia are an excellent addition to the Festival family. They are skilled musicians with the energy and vision to continue the tradition of world-class music by the lake," commented Joan Christy, head of the search committee.
The Skaneateles Festival celebrates 35 years of bringing world-class music to a small village on a pristine lake in the Finger Lakes region. The festival is a four-week series offering music events for all ages. Musicians take the stage in chamber concerts, family concerts, open rehearsals, chamber orchestra concerts by the lake, and much more in this enticing series. This 2014 season begins August 6 and runs through August 30. "I can't wait to get out on the lake and try water skiing. It can't be harder than performing the Brahms Piano Quintet, right? Also, I plan to go back for more of the Sherwood's pecan salmon," says Wunsch enthusiastically.
After ten years of devotion, musical expertise, and friendship, artistic directors David Ying and Elinor Freer will be saying farewell to the Skaneateles Festival at the end of this summer. David and his brother Phillip have accepted the position of artistic directors for the Bowdoin International Festival in Brunswick, Maine. The Festival applauds their skilled leadership, will miss their talent and will look forward to their ongoing friendship. At the same time, the Festival extends a warm round of applause to our entering dynamic duo, Aaron Wunsch and Julia Bruskin.
Aaron and Julia will visit the festival this week for its first performances. "We couldn't be more thrilled to join the Skaneateles Festival. The balance of outstanding performances, magical venues like Brook Farm, and friendly, open-minded music lovers and supporters of all ages make this festival unique. We look forward to building on these traditions and working to extend their reach."